What did you hate most about being a christian or a religious person?
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17-04-2013, 10:25 AM (This post was last modified: 17-04-2013 10:30 AM by Atheist_pilgrim.)
RE: What did you hate most about being a christian or a religious person?
(17-04-2013 08:04 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Thank you for your candor and honest feedback. IMO the JWs are not a Christian group but a cultic group. The Christian faith is putting one's faith in Christ and finding freedom. JWs are absolutely into doing things and being on one's best behavior (certainly an oxymoron for sinners) to earn your way to Heaven.

Religious guilt is a big part of religion. It is not a big part of a vibrant, living relationship with Jesus Christ. "To the pure all things are pure". I like all kinds of music, I like sex, I like good food and I like living and breathing. Do you like living as opposed to being dead or dying? Live forever. Trust Jesus for salvation.

Hogwash. Just because you have a low guilt threshold and your life is grand doesn't mean guilt and shame aren't pitched from the average evangelical pulpit on a constant basis. This claimed dichotomy between religion and relationship is, in a word, bogus. Why? Because 1) it's not really a relationship between you and Jesus, it's a relationship between you and your pastor. 2) If you don't have a pastor, it's a relationship between you and whatever picture of God/Jesus that you have constructed in your mind. 3) A compelling argument can be made that you really have a "relationship" with Paul vs. Jesus, as Paul is the driving force behind much of the NT.

I spent 24 years as an evangelical Christian. I served in various ministries and even graduated from seminary. No matter where I went or what church I attended, I saw the following dynamics pay out: If you don't tithe or serve, you're a sponge. If you fornicate or even just make out, you're sinning in the flesh. If you don't witness, you're keeping your light under a bushel. If you see an R-rated movie, go to a bar, or drink alcohol, you're making a weaker believer stumble. If you don't agree with the leadership's vision, you're in rebellion. If you are attracted to someone of the same sex, you're an abomination (or you will be if you act on that attraction). If you don't accept Christ as your savior, then you will go to hell for eternity. If you don't forgive, then God won't forgive you. If you don't go to church, then you're out from under God's "umbrella of protection." If you masturbate, you're engaging in lustful behavior and defrauding your relationship with your future spouse. And so on.

Sure, you can find churches that are more liberal, churches that are for gays, and some that are universalist (everyone goes to heaven). But what does that really mean? That everybody is right? That you can really do whatever you want just because you have what you preceive to be a "vibrant, living relationship" with Jesus? Don't the other, more conservative people have that relationship? And if everyone is relating to the same Jesus, then why so much division and difference - especially when salvation and hell is at stake? Something smells rotten here.

To me, it sounds like you are cherry-picking what you like about Xiantiy and ignorning the more uncomfortable stuff that you don't like or perhaps actually disbelieve. The fact that anyone can do this based on their own proclivities (liberal or conservative, legalist or laisse faire) and emphasize or deemphasize whatever parts of the bible they desire is one reason why I came to the belief that the whole thing is made up.
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18-04-2013, 08:00 AM
RE: What did you hate most about being a christian or a religious person?
God loves a cheerful giver, so I'm sorry some of you were in false churches who pushed you to give. I ENJOY giving to my pastors, church staff, needs, the poor, people overseas, etc. I LOVE giving to help other people. But of course, y'all have to count my money for me and put your doctrine in my pockets.

Don't you know when y'all talk about money ten times more than Christians do in church you're the ones with the monetary issues, the covetousness, and the greed?

Don't you understand GOOD churches and charities can handle the money 50 times more effectively than "giving" to the poor through government taxation--the more so outside of America and Europe in Muslim lands and etc?
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18-04-2013, 08:09 AM
RE: What did you hate most about being a christian or a religious person?
Quote:Hogwash. Just because you have a low guilt threshold and your life is grand doesn't mean guilt and shame aren't pitched from the average evangelical pulpit on a constant basis. This claimed dichotomy between religion and relationship is, in a word, bogus. Why? Because 1) it's not really a relationship between you and Jesus, it's a relationship between you and your pastor. 2) If you don't have a pastor, it's a relationship between you and whatever picture of God/Jesus that you have constructed in your mind. 3) A compelling argument can be made that you really have a "relationship" with Paul vs. Jesus, as Paul is the driving force behind much of the NT.

I spent 24 years as an evangelical Christian. I served in various ministries and even graduated from seminary. No matter where I went or what church I attended, I saw the following dynamics pay out: If you don't tithe or serve, you're a sponge. If you fornicate or even just make out, you're sinning in the flesh. If you don't witness, you're keeping your light under a bushel. If you see an R-rated movie, go to a bar, or drink alcohol, you're making a weaker believer stumble. If you don't agree with the leadership's vision, you're in rebellion. If you are attracted to someone of the same sex, you're an abomination (or you will be if you act on that attraction). If you don't accept Christ as your savior, then you will go to hell for eternity. If you don't forgive, then God won't forgive you. If you don't go to church, then you're out from under God's "umbrella of protection." If you masturbate, you're engaging in lustful behavior and defrauding your relationship with your future spouse. And so on.

Sure, you can find churches that are more liberal, churches that are for gays, and some that are universalist (everyone goes to heaven). But what does that really mean? That everybody is right? That you can really do whatever you want just because you have what you preceive to be a "vibrant, living relationship" with Jesus? Don't the other, more conservative people have that relationship? And if everyone is relating to the same Jesus, then why so much division and difference - especially when salvation and hell is at stake? Something smells rotten here.

To me, it sounds like you are cherry-picking what you like about Xiantiy and ignorning the more uncomfortable stuff that you don't like or perhaps actually disbelieve. The fact that anyone can do this based on their own proclivities (liberal or conservative, legalist or laisse faire) and emphasize or deemphasize whatever parts of the bible they desire is one reason why I came to the belief that the whole thing is made up.
I'm sorry you were denied Christian freedoms for more than two decades. I'm sorry you lacked either the biblical knowledge or backbone to reform where you attended or to start over elsewhere or start your own church:

I watched Gangs of New York this week again and loved it again. I watched Passion of the Christ several times and do not condemn R-rated movies.

Men and women who masturbate on average do have sex less frequently with their spouses. Same with pornography and prostitution. So what? Why would you run away with knowledge (masturbation is less than purity and does affect one's mind and heart) to become laden with guilt?

I'm not going to toss the old "you were never saved, dude" card at you but your post sure reads like the guilt trip was coming from pulpits but you carried it all for a while on your own, like decades. You now sound guilty about not indulging the freedoms you had/have in Christ and about sitting under these false teachers so long!

I don't feel guilty about sex, money, movies, or "causing young people to stumble". If an underage person is at my home, I might not serve wine or I might. So what?

If I feel a prompting from GOD, not my "leaders", to witness to someone and do not, shouldn't I feel a bit of recrimination since Hell and Heaven are real? But do I trust God to reach that person if they're on the way/are seeking truth? Of course I do. I witness because I enjoy it and I like giving gifts.

I'm sorry your whole church experience was uptight. I'll pray for you. But finding a church that revels in its freedoms in Christ is the solution, not Atheism and criticism of people who try to do right in wrong churches because they love God.
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18-04-2013, 08:10 AM
RE: What did you hate most about being a christian or a religious person?
(18-04-2013 08:00 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  God loves a cheerful giver, so I'm sorry some of you were in false churches who pushed you to give. I ENJOY giving to my pastors, church staff, needs, the poor, people overseas, etc. I LOVE giving to help other people. But of course, y'all have to count my money for me and put your doctrine in my pockets.

Don't you know when y'all talk about money ten times more than Christians do in church you're the ones with the monetary issues, the covetousness, and the greed?

Don't you understand GOOD churches and charities can handle the money 50 times more effectively than "giving" to the poor through government taxation--the more so outside of America and Europe in Muslim lands and etc?

Thing #1037 I hate about churches: proselytizing douchebags.
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18-04-2013, 08:28 AM
RE: What did you hate most about being a christian or a religious person?
I hated that none of my friends knew the same music as me because I could only listen to Christian rock.


Well, for that matter, I guess I hated that I didn't have many friends because I could only listen to Christian rock.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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18-04-2013, 10:51 AM
RE: What did you hate most about being a christian or a religious person?
(18-04-2013 08:28 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  I hated that none of my friends knew the same music as me because I could only listen to Christian rock.


Well, for that matter, I guess I hated that I didn't have many friends because I could only listen to Christian rock.

You should have told your parents that Godsmack is what He does to evil sinner poopy heads. Big Grin

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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18-04-2013, 10:56 AM
RE: What did you hate most about being a christian or a religious person?
Hate is a very strong word... I don't hate religious people. I feel pity for them. Time and again they come here and spout nonsense with circular reasoning and full of confirmation bias.

That makes me crazy.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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18-04-2013, 11:37 AM
RE: What did you hate most about being a christian or a religious person?
(18-04-2013 10:56 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  That makes me crazy.

Nah. It's the naughty bits that do that. Laughat

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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18-04-2013, 12:07 PM (This post was last modified: 18-04-2013 01:52 PM by Atheist_pilgrim.)
RE: What did you hate most about being a christian or a religious person?
(18-04-2013 08:09 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  I'm sorry you were denied Christian freedoms for more than two decades. I'm sorry you lacked either the biblical knowledge or backbone to reform where you attended or to start over elsewhere or start your own church

I'm betting that I've got more time on the crapper than you've had in the faith. Did you miss the part about me being a seminary graduate and serving in various ministries? Have you even *read* the bible all the way through? I have - more than once. Have you ever taken graduate-level courses in theology, apologetics, bible study methods? I have. And another thing I had was the backbone to actually question my faith and walk 500 miles on an old pilgrimage trail to seek him - but he didn't show up. All I found were crumbling churches with a smattering of elderly people and plenty of secular folks that were happy and fulfilled. Travel is one of life's great eye-openers - you should try it sometime, with an open mind.

And in the end, I had the backbone to realize that my entire faith, the good parts and bad, was based on a mishmash of a book written by bronze-age sheep herders who were just trying to make it in the world and explain the universe within a pre-science context. And that there is no credible evidence (and much evidence to the contrary) for the existence of Adam & Eve, a Flood, an Exodus, and so on. And the idea that all of the world's suffering (not to mention hell) is because two naked idiots ate a piece of fruit? Nuts! And that we still haven't seen Jesus come back in 2000 years, even though it was expected in Scripture that he'd be back in his followers' lifetime? Typical apocalyptic literature of the time. Thus began my journey to freedom.

Plus, I attended many types of churches, from small fundamentalist ones to large "emergent church" congregations, and without exception they had some sort of guilt tripping going on. Some gave lip service to "Christian freedom", but that's a nebulous concept and can be used in many ways. For example, Mars Hill in Seattle is cool with tattoos and smoking, but still denounces homosexuality and directs women to subservient roles compared to men. Some would say "engaging with the culture" is another word for "compromise" or "license" so that you can do what the world does in the name of God and get away with it. But unless you are a universalist or buy into annihilation, you likely believe in a hell that unbelievers go to when they die - am I right?

Quote:I watched Gangs of New York this week again and loved it again. I watched Passion of the Christ several times and do not condemn R-rated movies.

I never did either (well, I went on a no-movies kick for awhile, but got over it). But heard from many who did. Frankly, I'd be careful of too much license - you might actually start wondering if he's even there to care about what you do...

Quote:Men and women who masturbate on average do have sex less frequently with their spouses. Same with pornography and prostitution. So what? Why would you run away with knowledge (masturbation is less than purity and does affect one's mind and heart) to become laden with guilt?

I'm not even sure what this means...except that I read many books and heard from various pastors and others that flogging the bishop was a bad thing. You even betray your guilt-driven bias by stating that "men and women who masturbate on average do have sex less frequently with their spouses" and "masturbation is less than purity and does affect one's mind and heart." How do you know? What do you really mean by "purity"? Heard that claptrap from some pastor or Xian poll? Perhaps masturbation actually helps many couples know their bodies and have better sex, or else the poll responders were overly Xian and the non-believers who used masturbation to aid their sex lives didn't bother to respond (or weren't asked).

Quote:I'm not going to toss the old "you were never saved, dude" card at you but your post sure reads like the guilt trip was coming from pulpits but you carried it all for a while on your own, like decades. You now sound guilty about not indulging the freedoms you had/have in Christ and about sitting under these false teachers so long!

These "freedoms in Christ" you go on about have pretty flexible definitions depending on the person/pastor/church, not to mention their general demographic. Frankly, the younger folks (Gen Y, Millennials) are more into the freedom deal, probably as a result of sensing on some level how crazy all the laws, rules, and regulations are. And as for "false teachers," that's another problem with the church - why so many "false teachers" in a faith where the God claims to not be an "author of confusion"? Again, I've probably had many more teachers than you, and I'm sure that most of them were very representative of maintstream Xianity.

Quote:I don't feel guilty about sex, money, movies, or "causing young people to stumble". If an underage person is at my home, I might not serve wine or I might. So what?

Again, you seem to have a higher threshold for feeling guilt. While I admit I have a lower one, then why then can't the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit unify and comfort believers on this stuff? Different denominations focus on different things - some are into holiness, some into the gifts of the Spirit, some require the baptism of the Holy Spirit, some are more culturally attuned in order to win souls. Again, lots of division from a supposedly unifying god.

Quote:If I feel a prompting from GOD, not my "leaders", to witness to someone and do not, shouldn't I feel a bit of recrimination since Hell and Heaven are real? But do I trust God to reach that person if they're on the way/are seeking truth? Of course I do. I witness because I enjoy it and I like giving gifts.

Guess I'm right about your belief in hell. Ah, the "prompting from God" deal - so, are you all about feelings vs. the explicit and implicit commands of Scripture to share the gospel and so forth? Feelings-based Xianity tends to be based on scriptural ignorance and emotional tides. In that case, you appear to be practicing "cafe Xianity" and just doing what feels good. You got your "get out of hell free" card and are washed by the blood of Jesus, so you can do what you will based on feeling and emotion. Huzzah for you. There are plenty of Muslims and Hindus who feel sancified and justified in their faith, but of course they are all "deceived" by Satan and on the broad road to the eternal poach factory.

Quote:I'm sorry your whole church experience was uptight. I'll pray for you. But finding a church that revels in its freedoms in Christ is the solution, not Atheism and criticism of people who try to do right in wrong churches because they love God.

I'm sorry you are trapped in a feelings-based belief system that, not matter what you say, still condemns people to hell and blames suffering on sin, guilt, and rational thinking. There is no true "freedom" in a Christ/God that sends people to eternal torment/separation if they don't get the memo, agree with him, or love him back. And as for your idea of god - which God are we talking about? As I've alluded to above, there are so many definitions of who he is, what he does & doesn't do, what he commands, and so on. Who's to say you are right and the guilt-trippers & holiness folks are wrong, especially since you appear to run on feelings vs. biblical knowledge and instruction?

P.S. Don't bother praying for me, as it comes across as patronizing and dismissive (as discussed in another thread). I don't want to waste your precious time with Jesus. I'm happy to wind up wherever people like Christopher Hitchens, John Lennon, and Carl Sagan are - that sounds like a kick-ass place!
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19-04-2013, 12:14 AM
RE: What did you hate most about being a christian or a religious person?
I hated working a night shift job, and then people getting all up in your shit about why you wasn't up a 8am to go to church.

Because I was fucking tired you twits!
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